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View Full Version : is this mulch price crazy am I crazy or


fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 04:12 PM
ok, I did an estimate today for a commercial mulch job. I have the inside track on the bid as I coach the customers son in little league. She told me as long as I was inline the job was mine. I am gonna wait to see what you guys would bid (if you care to share that info) then Ill tell you what I bid and what they paid last time. Specs, easy access, red cypress mulch, 10,170 sq ft. I figured it at between 1.5 and 2" deep for a total of 56 yards of mulch. Price includes cleaning debris out of beds prior, and there was a lot of trash. I'll admit I am never the cheapest bid on anything I do but holy crap the previous bid was low!!! So whats your round about gestimate to spread 56 yards red cypress mulch? Bottom line I didnt even bother haggling, told her thanks for the opportunity but I cant compete with people working for beer money.

zturncutter
02-24-2011, 04:21 PM
Whats the access like, how many plants are in the beds, flat or burmed, can you back a dump trailer up to the beds or do you have to wheel barrow, how far is the job from your supplier ?

fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 04:45 PM
ok, I did an estimate today for a commercial mulch job. I have the inside track on the bid as I coach the customers son in little league. She told me as long as I was inline the job was mine. I am gonna wait to see what you guys would bid (if you care to share that info) then Ill tell you what I bid and what they paid last time. Specs, easy access, red cypress mulch, 10,170 sq ft. I figured it at between 1.5 and 2" deep for a total of 56 yards of mulch. Price includes cleaning debris out of beds prior, and there was a lot of trash. I'll admit I am never the cheapest bid on anything I do but holy crap the previous bid was low!!! So whats your round about gestimate to spread 56 yards red cypress mulch? Bottom line I didnt even bother haggling, told her thanks for the opportunity but I cant compete with people working for beer money.

beds are big though so you would have to wheel barrow or lump bags, but its a fairly easy job as far as accessibility. plants are rows of sweet viburnum and juniper. From supplier, about 8 miles.

eco.lawns
02-24-2011, 04:49 PM
$4,500 plus $1 for every 5 feet of edging. Plus maybe another $50-100 depending on how much trash there is to pick out. Thats about the going rate in my area at least

fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 05:00 PM
keep em coming.....want some local stuff to compare.

THEGOLDPRO
02-24-2011, 05:04 PM
My labor rate would be $3900 for just the labor, i charge $70 per yard installed, that includes edging, and cleaning out the beds. and whatever else the mulch costs. i can get red mulch around me for give or take 40 per yard. so i would be looking at roughly $2200 in material+$3900 for labor so like $6100 out the door.

Greg78
02-24-2011, 06:04 PM
I'd be around $1300 for the mulch and $3200 for the labor.

fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 06:05 PM
Whats the access like, how many plants are in the beds, flat or burmed, can you back a dump trailer up to the beds or do you have to wheel barrow, how far is the job from your supplier ?

hey z if your not comfortable (or if anyone is uncomfortable) putting prices on the open forum PM me and Ill give you my price and the winning bid. I am posting those numbers here anyway when I get back from my sons baseball game.

South Florida Lawns
02-24-2011, 06:07 PM
We charge between 55-60 a yard installed, thats the going rate in my area, would love to get $70. I get my mulch cheap though dbl ground, quality stuff.

Landscape Poet
02-24-2011, 07:17 PM
We charge between 55-60 a yard installed, thats the going rate in my area, would love to get $70. I get my mulch cheap though dbl ground, quality stuff.

I would be in the same ball park as that is roughly the going rate here to.

For that volume I would sub it out to the mulch company who would come blow it in and delivery it for $34 a yard. Which includes blowing, delivery, and light trash pick up.

Customer pays let say the low end $55. I am still making $21 a yard and doing nothing but picking up the trash. I walk away with $1115 at 56 yards for picking up trash and a little trimming. Not a bad gig...but I got a feeling the other bid was much lower?

IRRITECH
02-24-2011, 07:24 PM
I figure 63yds @ 2". Mulch $1800, labor $600, Total $3500

Tri-City Outdoors
02-24-2011, 07:27 PM
$55 or so is the norm here. We would put the bid in for $4k based on what you are saying. In our area the bid would have to be $3k to get the job. maybe less. Sad but true. People not company's are working for less and less money these days!
Unless it is to top off or dress up the beds. We would also have to lay at least 3". Preferable 4". The thicker the mulch the better. We never turn down a job. But we despise red mulch.

grass4gas
02-24-2011, 08:02 PM
I figure 63yds @ 2". Mulch $1800, labor $600, Total $3500

WTF kind of math is that?:laugh:

slawn
02-24-2011, 08:15 PM
My price would be $4340.00 for 56 yds. But I doubt 56 yds. would be enough for that job.

IRRITECH
02-24-2011, 08:28 PM
WTF kind of math is that?:laugh:

You're right 1800+600 doesn't equal 3500.

10170 x (2/12) = X

X= 10,170 x .166667 ( 2" deep)

X= 1695 cubic ft

1 yard = 27 cubic ft

1695/ 27 = 62.77777778

63 cubic yards


63 yds x $27/yd = 1701

$1701 + delivery/tax = $1800

Labor- 5 mexicans + lunch/drinks = $600

63yds @ $55/yd = $3465

Total = $3500


Drop them off at 7:30 come back at 12 for lunch and come back when they call and say they are done. :laugh:

fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 10:20 PM
My price would be $4340.00 for 56 yds. But I doubt 56 yds. would be enough for that job.

there was an area of juniper covering a lot of one area, if I didnt know it was going to be a tough bid I would have bid 63 yards but I reduced it to 56 to try and be competitive:laugh:

me 56 yards / $55 $3080 (usually $65/per but had to go lower)

winning bid and this company is a good size outfit $25 per yard!!!!!! $1400 Total!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF....seriously!

Florida Gardener
02-24-2011, 10:25 PM
Wow, I guess they are trying to keep employees moving at that price
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slawn
02-24-2011, 10:52 PM
there was an area of juniper covering a lot of one area, if I didnt know it was going to be a tough bid I would have bid 63 yards but I reduced it to 56 to try and be competitive

me 56 yards / $55 $3080 (usually $65/per but had to go lower)

winning bid and this company is a good size outfit $25 per yard!!!!!! $1400 Total!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF....seriously!

No way their making anything, I would be in the hole at that price.

fl-landscapes
02-24-2011, 10:57 PM
No way their making anything, I would be in the hole at that price.

exactly what i told the customer. I'm just relieved most people in this state are way closer to my price then theirs. I was starting to question my price, even though I knew theirs was a joke. Thanks guys.

Florida Gardener
02-24-2011, 11:06 PM
I firmly believe most companies in Florida have work because they follow the volume model. We will just do more work at lower prices. True idiots.
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ReddensLawnCare
02-25-2011, 12:09 AM
YEah..that is really low. It depends who you buy from though. City recycling centers will sell that dyed crap around here for 13 per yard..maybe thats what they were doing and figuring 12 labor per yard...way lower than I would do it though. I am at around 60 per

South Florida Lawns
02-25-2011, 01:56 AM
My buddies company gets red mulch at $7 a yard and moves a $h*t of it annually. I lose a lot of bids do to these guys that practically run things in my area. They got the market and its hard for us to compete.

zturncutter
02-25-2011, 07:17 AM
hey z if your not comfortable (or if anyone is uncomfortable) putting prices on the open forum PM me and Ill give you my price and the winning bid. I am posting those numbers here anyway when I get back from my sons baseball game.

Around $60.00 per yard here as well, if I want bulk I have to make a 50 mile round trip to get it. Had a busy day yesterday, I coach a Little league team in the afternoon and did not get back on here till now.

fl-landscapes
02-25-2011, 07:43 AM
Around $60.00 per yard here as well, if I want bulk I have to make a 50 mile round trip to get it. Had a busy day yesterday, I coach a Little league team in the afternoon and did not get back on here till now.

Thtas cool z, your price is right there with mine. I think they may be buying it from "green planet" in punta gorda, recycled crap. By the way I coach a little league team too. Had a game in punta gorda last nigh. Lost 8-5...oh well. Not a whole lot of talent this year but their a bunch of good kids. We went 21-1 last year and won the championship. Cant do that every year though.

tjlco
02-25-2011, 10:02 AM
I would have been in the 3k range, but I get my mulch from another large lco friend. He gets it delivered by the 18 wheeler load, has a loader for me to load it, so it helps me out some.

Ric
02-25-2011, 10:46 AM
I firmly believe most companies in Florida have work because they follow the volume model. We will just do more work at lower prices. True idiots.
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Diamond

I have to agree with you the Low Baller is alive and well and living every where in Florida. It starts with the Valley Crest's on down to Pops cutting his neighbors lawn.


BUT IN THIS CASE: The company with the low bid is a Local Big Boy, if fact the oldest surviving commercial mowing company in town. He is paying Workers Comp and all the taxes and Licensing fees etc. This is a company with 3 girls in the office and full time mechanics. This is a company with a Big Overhead to be bidding that low.


Same Company a few years back would bid on County jobs. Only they always bid extra high. Every now and again they would win a bid or most times were the only qualified bidder. Seeing them bid so low is a mind blower for me.

Keith
02-25-2011, 11:30 AM
My buddies company gets red mulch at $7 a yard and moves a $h*t of it annually. I lose a lot of bids do to these guys that practically run things in my area. They got the market and its hard for us to compete.



Yeah, that sounds about right.

I don't do a lot of mulch, and that's pretty much why. I might do 30 yards a year. I do it for my maintenance customers if they ask, and try to get out of it if possible. I usually use bags, but in bulk, I am having to pay $25+ a yard for it from a local garden center. That's retail, and it's the best I can do. You can either get wholesale and have hundreds of yards dumped on your property or you can pay retail. I had a fairly good size job a few years back and asked the owner of the garden center if he could cut me a break on a big order. He said "yeah, you take 100 yards, it never touches my property and I'll sell it to you for $10 a yard." He was making something off of it, so $7 sounds about right.

Florida Gardener
02-25-2011, 07:09 PM
Diamond

I have to agree with you the Low Baller is alive and well and living every where in Florida. It starts with the Valley Crest's on down to Pops cutting his neighbors lawn.


BUT IN THIS CASE: The company with the low bid is a Local Big Boy, if fact the oldest surviving commercial mowing company in town. He is paying Workers Comp and all the taxes and Licensing fees etc. This is a company with 3 girls in the office and full time mechanics. This is a company with a Big Overhead to be bidding that low.


Same Company a few years back would bid on County jobs. Only they always bid extra high. Every now and again they would win a bid or most times were the only qualified bidder. Seeing them bid so low is a mind blower for me.

Who knows.

I was bidding on an average resi last year. My bid was $180/mo, same as the first company who was bidding(they do quality). The third bid was by a company who has been in biz b/t 5-10 years, has a couple crews etc. His bid was $115/mo and he obviously won it. I have just come to the conclusion that most companies in the green industry go by the volume model. They will do ok or mediocre work, have decent turnover, and not make much per job. It doesn't bother me anymore as I know the type of customer I am looking for and down here, we have plenty of them.

fl-landscapes
02-25-2011, 08:06 PM
Who knows.

I was bidding on an average resi last year. My bid was $180/mo, same as the first company who was bidding(they do quality). The third bid was by a company who has been in biz b/t 5-10 years, has a couple crews etc. His bid was $115/mo and he obviously won it. I have just come to the conclusion that most companies in the green industry go by the volume model. They will do ok or mediocre work, have decent turnover, and not make much per job. It doesn't bother me anymore as I know the type of customer I am looking for and down here, we have plenty of them.

Agreed. I told the customer frankly that I dont even bother trying to figure out how or why some companies will work for peanuts or even lose money on some jobs. That I provide quality work at a fair price for my customers AND MY COMPANY. I dont lose sleep over this stuff anymore. I just was blown away by how far off I was on this and had to see what others were pricing.

Florida Gardener
02-25-2011, 08:14 PM
Agreed. I told the customer frankly that I dont even bother trying to figure out how or why some companies will work for peanuts or even lose money on some jobs. That I provide quality work at a fair price for my customers AND MY COMPANY. I dont lose sleep over this stuff anymore. I just was blown away by how far off I was on this and had to see what others were pricing.

Yea man, I used to get so mad when people would want a bid after seeing a nice property I do and then come back with well I just don't have that in the budget or I didn't want to invest that much. Now I truly understand it's a numbers game and you have to look for people who look at their landscape as an investment, or an outdoor space they can enjoy.
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dKoester
02-25-2011, 08:22 PM
there was an area of juniper covering a lot of one area, if I didnt know it was going to be a tough bid I would have bid 63 yards but I reduced it to 56 to try and be competitive:laugh:

me 56 yards / $55 $3080 (usually $65/per but had to go lower)

winning bid and this company is a good size outfit $25 per yard!!!!!! $1400 Total!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF....seriously!

They could, being they are a large outfit have connections with tree companies and take that wood grind it and dye it to make their own mulch. This is probably their competitive advantage.

fl-landscapes
02-25-2011, 08:30 PM
They could, being they are a large outfit have connections with tree companies and take that wood grind it and dye it to make their own mulch. This is probably their competitive advantage.

I am sure this is along the lines of whats happening. There is a recycling company local that does it and sells it bulk cheap.....its crap, but probably what they are using. STILL thats a lot of trips in a big truck and a lot of labor to put it down so anyway you look at it THATS A LOW PRICE.

4 seasons lawn&land
02-25-2011, 09:17 PM
you guys that are over 1500 for the labor, like 3000+. How much are you planning on an hour???? Cause your either making 100 bucks an hour or your really slow.

fl-landscapes
02-25-2011, 10:20 PM
you guys that are over 1500 for the labor, like 3000+. How much are you planning on an hour???? Cause your either making 100 bucks an hour or your really slow.

we're slow. So how much would you charge to install 56 yards of mulch? Seems mostly everyone is in the 55 - 70 per yard range. Where are you at?

4 seasons lawn&land
02-25-2011, 11:00 PM
for the labor, 1200 - 1600 ? I would make around 500 a day using no valuable equipment. I pay 16-20 for mulch, sell for 30. Thats around 60 a yd. So 3000 to 3500 total. Some guys were over that just for the labor. The guys on the first page. Are they doing a grand a day to sling mulch with a couple hundred bucks worth of equipment?

Tri-City Outdoors
02-25-2011, 11:27 PM
Business is funny like this everyone has different operating cost and different business plans. If we got the bid we would come in high. we never turn down work. But really this job would not fit our business.
We focus on quality service. We would of not used red mulch (unless needed). we would have installed to 3-4 inches of quality mulch and so on!

However this is probably a commercial job. With big company's the have high overhead that dose not change. Their labor is working 1/2 the time right now and you have to keep your guys busy. Material is probably the cheapest or they have the "hook up" or buy in bulk. Buying more than what is needed and using extra on future jobs.

When we started to install sod we used the local sod farm. But through the grape vine we found it for 1/2 price down the road. The real kicker was in bulk quantity they would also install it for less then the local sod farm could sell it. (No prep)

Recently put in a bid for sub-division common areas. Found out we almost double the "low guy". Also we were by far the highest. We just simple said "we will make up for it in service". Most likely we will not get the job and the "low guy" will. They may or may not be a low baller.

Florida Gardener
02-26-2011, 06:49 AM
Business is funny like this everyone has different operating cost and different business plans. If we got the bid we would come in high. we never turn down work. But really this job would not fit our business.
We focus on quality service. We would of not used red mulch (unless needed). we would have installed to 3-4 inches of quality mulch and so on!

However this is probably a commercial job. With big company's the have high overhead that dose not change. Their labor is working 1/2 the time right now and you have to keep your guys busy. Material is probably the cheapest or they have the "hook up" or buy in bulk. Buying more than what is needed and using extra on future jobs.
While I agree that everyone has different overhead and I am all for a free market economy, people like this just drag everyone else down. You can see from the responded that most people are in the same ballpark while this outfit is on another planet. Tons of new guys come on this site every day with questions like how do I get customers and so many responses are just lower your price, get the work. These guys take the advice bc they don't know any better. The problem keeps feeding itself. Like I said, I know who my target customer is and this would not have been it, but jeez, don't screw the market up for everyone else.
When we started to install sod we used the local sod farm. But through the grape vine we found it for 1/2 price down the road. The real kicker was in bulk quantity they would also install it for less then the local sod farm could sell it. (No prep)

Recently put in a bid for sub-division common areas. Found out we almost double the "low guy". Also we were by far the highest. We just simple said "we will make up for it in service". Most likely we will not get the job and the "low guy" will. They may or may not be a low baller.
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4 seasons lawn&land
02-27-2011, 11:21 AM
My labor rate would be $3900 for just the labor, i charge $70 per yard installed, that includes edging, and cleaning out the beds. and whatever else the mulch costs. i can get red mulch around me for give or take 40 per yard. so i would be looking at roughly $2200 in material+$3900 for labor so like $6100 out the door.



so 108 per yard?

starry night
02-27-2011, 11:40 AM
fl-landscapes: I am a little late reading this thread. Everyone's prices on labor are applicable to the job stated. But everyone is talking different kinds of mulches. You originally said "red cypress mulch." Do you mean whole-tree cypress dyed red or you talking about the beautifully-stringy, naturally red cypress bark? The latter is expensive (at least here.)

Ric
02-27-2011, 12:01 PM
fl-landscapes: I am a little late reading this thread. Everyone's prices on labor are applicable to the job stated. But everyone is talking different kinds of mulches. You originally said "red cypress mulch." Do you mean whole-tree cypress dyed red or you talking about the beautifully-stringy, naturally red cypress bark? The latter is expensive (at least here.)

Dirt

We don't get the real Red Cypress bark mulch that is a by product of a Cypress lumber operation.

What we are getting is clear cutting of of low land young cypress. These trees are generally not even 2 inch caliber. Of course Red is Dye and there are Green Recycle Centers that love to red dye tub grinding and call it mulch. I think those Tub Grinding are the point of contention in this case. They are like putting Lipstick on a pig.

fl-landscapes
02-27-2011, 01:53 PM
so 108 per yard?

yup thats double what I was and nearly double what everyone else posted was. The winning bid was $1400...though and is absurd

fl-landscapes
02-27-2011, 01:59 PM
Dirt

We don't get the real Red Cypress bark mulch that is a by product of a Cypress lumber operation.

What we are getting is clear cutting of of low land young cypress. These trees are generally not even 2 inch caliber. Of course Red is Dye and there are Green Recycle Centers that love to red dye tub grinding and call it mulch. I think those Tub Grinding are the point of contention in this case. They are like putting Lipstick on a pig.

Dirt....what ric said.....I quoted the regular run of the mill cypress dyed red mulch, bulk or bag was about $25 yard. The people who one the bid are using (like ric said) tub ground pine trees, palm stumps and whatever crappola they throw in there and dye red. Even with that said, $1400 for 56 yards is way cheap.

4 seasons lawn&land
02-27-2011, 02:41 PM
ya that is definately out of whack. I was right there with you then at 3000-3500

South Florida Lawns
02-27-2011, 04:00 PM
One thing I learned fast is that prices are all over the place in Florida.

fl-landscapes
02-27-2011, 06:52 PM
One thing I learned fast is that prices are all over the place in Florida.

very true and SO IS THE QUALITY OF WORK. If I find a customer who only cares about cheap prices and shauty work I just move on, its not my market.

unkownfl
02-28-2011, 12:14 AM
I get red dyed cypress for 1.56 a bag 3 cubic ft. 786.4 for the mulch I'd charge $850 for the mulch I'd collect 55.25 for sales tax and my labor would be around 500-800 depending on if I can use the dingo some or everything wheel barrow. $1405.25 would be the lowest I could do it for and make some change.

sweetz
02-28-2011, 11:10 AM
I firmly believe most companies in Florida have work because they follow the volume model. We will just do more work at lower prices. True idiots.
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I agree. I just did a job of 8 yds for $85 per yd. installed. Normally I am competing for jobs that get bids at $40-$45 per yd installed.

fl-landscapes
02-28-2011, 03:49 PM
I agree. I just did a job of 8 yds for $85 per yd. installed. Normally I am competing for jobs that get bids at $40-$45 per yd installed.

unkown in fl and the winning bid were $25 yd installed. Unkown, where do you get 3 cubic foot bags for $1.56? Thats $14.04 per yard which leaves you aprox $10 yard to pay for labor fuel general overhead. What are you charging per hour for your dingo work? At $10 yard after material cost you got $560 to pay for fuel, labor, wear and tear on your dingo, insurance etc.... I think your price is too low even if you are getting mulch that cheap. But hey, too each their own I guess.

unkownfl
03-02-2011, 12:06 AM
unkown in fl and the winning bid were $25 yd installed. Unkown, where do you get 3 cubic foot bags for $1.56? Thats $14.04 per yard which leaves you aprox $10 yard to pay for labor fuel general overhead. What are you charging per hour for your dingo work? At $10 yard after material cost you got $560 to pay for fuel, labor, wear and tear on your dingo, insurance etc.... I think your price is too low even if you are getting mulch that cheap. But hey, too each their own I guess.

Like I said the lowest I could do it for and make some change... Not saying I would. I only use the dingo to carry the pallets of mulch to the site. I can lay about 4 yard an hour in bags. My fuel bill is less than 300 a month mowing 60 lawns. I don't take on work more than 2 miles from the house.

sweetz
03-07-2011, 01:18 AM
I don't take on work more than 2 miles from the house.

:laugh::laugh: My SHOP is 5 miles from my house! :laugh::laugh:

beachlandscapes
04-05-2011, 09:36 PM
I don't understand what commercial landscaper uses bagged mulch. Isn't that extremely time consuming in loading, unloading, storing, and simply opening the bags and disposing of hundreds of bags? Also how can you assure consistency from bag to bag? Also, I spread over 1000 yards of mulch per season...I don't even know where i would purchase that amount in bags.

sweetz
04-05-2011, 10:04 PM
I don't understand what commercial landscaper uses bagged mulch. Isn't that extremely time consuming in loading, unloading, storing, and simply opening the bags and disposing of hundreds of bags? Also how can you assure consistency from bag to bag? Also, I spread over 1000 yards of mulch per season...I don't even know where i would purchase that amount in bags.

To each his own. I can see if you lay 1000 yds per season, but that also means you have help. I on the other hand am solo and only lay 20-40 yds per year.

fl-landscapes
04-07-2011, 08:36 AM
I don't understand what commercial landscaper uses bagged mulch. Isn't that extremely time consuming in loading, unloading, storing, and simply opening the bags and disposing of hundreds of bags? Also how can you assure consistency from bag to bag? Also, I spread over 1000 yards of mulch per season...I don't even know where i would purchase that amount in bags.

depends on the job. Cost is almost the exact same. I have one commercial job that takes (I dont have an old invoice to be exact, in front of me) about 2500 BAGS. The reason we use bags is there are lots of isles between buildings. I load with bobcat six 75 bag pallets into my twenty yard truck at a time. Throw three guys in the back and drive around the complex throwing bags out as we go. I think gettting mulch behind bushes etc. is also easier with bagged. I have a boxer mini tracked skid if I wanted to use it, I just think for this job and maybe most we do, bagged is easier for us. Just my opinion though. I get more then twenty yards in my twenty yard truck becasue the bags go a couple feet over the top, couldnt do that with bulk.